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Title: Complex and contradictory: the doing of gender on regional development boards
Contributor(s): Sheridan, Alison Jane (author)orcid ; Haslam-McKenzie, F (author); Still, L (author)
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: In this paper we explore the complex, and in many ways contradictory, picture of how gender is enacted and reinforced within regional development boards/commissions in NSW and WA. While the number of women on these regional organisations has increased over the past decade, the overwhelming sense of these organisations is one of homogeneity. Members of the boards/commission are very alike in age and socio-economic circumstances, highlighting that body counting by sex doesn't adequately capture gender, which we take to be a socially constructed facet of identity. Recognising gender as a social construction (West and Zimmerman, 2002), where the doing of masculinity is privileged over femininity takes our analysis to a deeper level. In this context, as Ministerially appointed organisations, the individuals appointed can be seen to be privileged through the social structures. Their roles, while ambiguous, provide status to those involved and benefits through increased networking and knowledge. Their membership positions them within the (masculine) hegemony (Connell, 2005). For women to be appointed to these roles, they have had to perform much like their male counterparts, so they can 'pass' for the elite and their nominations be accepted by the Minister; that is, they are connected, have a high profile and they are able to understand and conform to the 'rules' of the boards/commissions (in terms of being able to make it to meetings, fit in socially with the group, like mindedness...).
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: Engendering Leadership Through Research and Practice Conference, Perth, Australia, 21st - 24th July, 2008
Source of Publication: Engendering Leadership Through Research and Practice Conference Proceedings, p. 452-460
Publisher: University of Western Australia
Place of Publication: Perth, Australia
Field of Research (FOR): 169901 Gender Specific Studies
HERDC Category Description: E1 Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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